Oman / Politics /
Qaboos ibn Said
qābūs ibn sa¢īd
(Salalah, Oman 1940-) Sultan and sole ruler of Oman since 1970, officially holding the most important posts in the government and with full power to act according to his own will.
While he has lead his country out from a backward position of remoteness and almost no modern infrastructure, he has not opened up for any democratic reforms in the country. Oman has therefore no written constitution, and the only political structure with elements of democracy is a consultative body for socioeconomic questions.
In international politics, Qaboos has followed a moderate line, more oriented towards compromise and peace than strict adherence to any ideology. His international copartners include USA, Britain and Saudi Arabia.
1940 November 18: Born in Salalah, as son of Sultan Said.
Late 1950s, early 1960s: Studies in Britain, first at a college in Bury later at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst.
1965: Called home and put in house arrest. But he was allowed to be visited by certain British visitors, with whom he cooperates on planning a coup against the ruling sultan, his father.
1970 July 23: Coup against the sultan. Qaboos becomes sultan, prime minister, defence and foreign minister. Under Qaboos, Oman entered the Arab League and the United Nations.
1970s: Using oil revenues, Qaboos builds the infrastructure of backward Oman.
1975: With foreign help, Qaboos succeeds in suppressing the uprising in the Dhofar region.
1978: Qaboos gives his support to the Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel as the only Arab leader. He continues having contacts with both Egypt and the other other Arab countries.
1981: Qaboos participates in the founding of GCC, the Gulf Cooperation Council.
1993: Qaboos is active in the Middle East peace process, following the Oslo Agreement. He has been the host for many conferences.